Nene Valley Harriers may be better known for their road running, track and field and cross country running successes, but veteran Sean Beard and international Charlotte Taylor proved the club is also host to some elite duathletes when they secured selection for the European Age Group Championships on Saturday.
Beard, a long term club stalwart, fought hard to finish 13th overall and second V45 on a muddy course with plenty of testing hills at the Althorp Estate in Northamptonshire.
The Bretton-based postman, who was running in his triathlon club PACTRAC’s vest, completed the standard distance duathlon in 2:18.56, with splits of 40:26 for the first 10k run, 1:12.19 for the 40k bike section (which measured significantly long), and 24:00 for the final 5k run, which was also far longer than many competitors were expecting.
Taylor finished second lady in the sprint event (5k run, 20k cycle, 5k run) just two seconds behind first place, due largely to the fact that she came off her bike after slipping on the wet surface.
The 2013 U20 World Triathlon champion spent several minutes on the side of the road considering whether or not to pull out after falling to the ground, but decided to complete the race, fighting hard to gain her top three finishing position.
The 20-year-old Spalding athlete, who was representing the University Of Warwick and Mike Vaughan Cycles on Saturday, had splits of 22:28, 46:14 and 23:21, with a total time of 1:33.37.
Beard will now go onto represent Great Britain in the ETU Standard Distance Duathlon European Championships in Alcobendas in Spain next April, while Taylor will consider her options regarding her 2015 season.